North Marine Drive is the 1983 debut by Londoner Ben Watt before he joined forces with Marine Girls’ Tracey Thorn to create the mainstream 90s UK indie duo – Everything But the Girl. This collection of sparse, reflective, and acoustic-driven works would foreshadow the melancholic themes integrated into all of Watt’s future output. Heartbreak, relationships, and love are the main topics pondered here and Watt’s lyrics are paired with beautiful, lonely melodies and soft, marine-like guitar. Electroacoustic rhythms with shades of Bossanova and traditional folk finger-picking stylings are also splashed in along with Everything but the Girl’s alto saxophonist Peter King. The music perfectly suits Watt’s contemplative lyricism and also the cover’s wistful seaside image. One of the hidden gems in the 80’s singer-songwriter genre, North Marine Drive calls to mind the UK’s greatest “alternative” folk musicians from John Martyn, Robert Wyatt, to even Nick Drake.
Recommended – B1 North Marine Drive, A2 Some Things Don’t Matter, A3 Luck One, Full Listen
Tags: Acoustic / Hidden Gem / Jazz / Melancholic